“The Cylons’ Secret” by Craig Shaw Gardner

“The Cylons’ Secret”
by Craig Shaw Gardner
Published by Tor Books (2006)
303 pages

It seems as though not a day goes by that I don’t have a thought about how great the reconceived “Battlestar Galactica” tv series was.   The storylines were multidimensional, the actors were perfect and the whole series had a purpose.  Why did it have to end?  Well they did try to revisit the glory with the short-lived series “Caprica,” but it seemed they weren’t given the chance to tell the story.  It seemed like a J. Michael Straszinski story that was constantly building into something but you had to have patience.  But people wanted it to be awesome too fast so the show somewhat failed.

So what do we do for our Galactica fix for now?  Well, I’m not sure about you but I have found one release, books.   I have started reading some fiction based on the new and old series and have decided to create my own world based on the series with reading.  Before the reimagined series came out Richard Hatch (yes the actor that played Apollo in the original series and Tom Zarek in the reimagined series) wrote a few.  There was the Glen A Larson book which told of the beginnings from the original series point of view (this one featured the long lost daggit).  There was a novelization of the pilot miniseries and now I found this gem which is a prequel to the reimagined series and features Adama, Tigh, and Zarek in a post Cylon war / pre Galactica seeks Earth adventure.  A couple of fun things thrown into this book are the appearance of Viper pilot Athena, who was in the original series but was never written into the new series, and the Battlestar Pegasus, which made a major appearance in the new series.

The story created in this novel centers around a research base on the outskirts of space that has been forgotten.  The original function of the base was to examine ways the Humans and Cylons could work together in harmony.  The problem is that the Cylons sought to destroy humankind and the Cylon war broke out.  When the war broke out this base was forgotten.  Now 30 years later scavengers/pirates are out seeking lost treasures from things on the fringes of navigable space.  The scavenger Cruiser Lightning comes across Omega Base and hear an antiquated recorded warning message transmited from the base saying the planet is under quarantine.  Finding the recording to be from before the Cylon war they decide to scavenge what they can.   When arriving at the planet they find it populated by a few research scientists and Cylons.  When the scavengers begin shooting the Cylons fight back.   The Cruiser is forced to flee when a Cylong Dreadnought ship appears and destroys the Cruiser’s shuttle and Vipers.  The shuttle actually only crashes since its last minute pilot, Tom Zarak has no experience flying, let alone running away from Cylons out to kill.   The captain of the Cruiser Lightning never loses any of his crew and escapes but with revenge creeping close to the surface.

Meanwhile the Battlestar Galactica, with executive officer, William Adama and Flight crew Officer, Saul Tigh, is patrolling that sector of space trying to track down scavengers who have a path of destruction in their wake.  When the Galactica approaches the planet and Omega Base, they are warned that they have Cylons, but the Cylons are Companions not the war seeking models from the war.  And that they would like to share their experiment results with the colonies and some of the humans on the base would like to return to the Colonies.  Adama is sent down as a diplomat and sets out to find the secrets of Omega Base.  It seems the humans aren’t the only ones who have taken an interest in the base that has been forgotten.  When the Cylon Dreadnaught makes it’s appearance near the Galactica the Cylon war seems like it’s about to begin again.

Craig Shaw Gardner weaves a tale that keeps with the in depth plots and characters that made the reimagined series a hit.